Causes of seconday bedwetting (enuresis)

Most children who wet the bed have what is known as primary enuresis, which basically means they have never been dry at night. Secondary enuresis is when a child has been dry at night for a period of time and then develop bedwetting again.  This can be as a result of different things such as urinary tract anomalies, diabetes, actual muscle deficiencies, or even psychological factors.  Of all bedwetting cases, secondary enuresis is the least common and occurs only within 5-10% of all bedwetting cases reported.

The facts about secondary bedwetting

Secondary bedwetting or enuresis has been the subject of many studies.  In fact, a 1981 study found that 36 percent of parent surveyed thought bedwetting in all its forms was caused by emotional problems.   Between emotional issues and deep sleep, these two factors combined to form the basis of what these parents thought caused secondary and primary bedwetting in children.  Obviously this is incorrect. But there are still some instances where psychological factors do cause secondary bedwetting.

Psychological factors of secondary bedwetting

When a new baby is brought into a family, this can cause a lot of confusion and anxiety over where a child fits into the new family.  This can lead to bedwetting. Even though the attention may be negative in nature, wetting the bed does get the child more attention.  Sometimes anger can cause a child to wet the bed.  Children can use bedwetting as a tool to avoid certain situations such as sleeping over at a relatives house or going on a vacation.

A serious emotional and psychological cause for bedwetting is sexual abuse.  Children who are abused may revert to wetting the bed or regress in attitude and habits they have previously outgrown.  One of the clues that bedwetting is a psychological factor and not a physical one, would be if a physical that shows the child has no physical abnormalities or urinary tract infections, and if the child starts wetting themselves during the day as well as in the night.

Another cause of secondary enuresis may be a medication the child recently started taking.  Secondary enuresis is rarely the result of a lack of bladder control, and treatment for this time of nocturnal enuresis is rarely medical Secondary enuresis is usually treated best by emotional counseling and therapy, whereas primary enuresis can be treated more easily with bedwetting alarms.